Friday 24 April 2015

Superior Suasages - Sunday Magazine

Superior Sausages – Sunday Magazine

Sam Mannering is a new food writer for the Sunday Magazine. This little magazine arrives with the Sunday Star Times newspaper each weekend. The magazine has a distinctly girlie feel, and I generally flip through it pretty quickly. However I do look at the recipes and this week there was a page titled Superior Sausages. Sam Mannering has good taste - he identifies Salumeria Fontana from Wellsford, Grey Lynn Butchers, Westmere Butchers, Moore Wilsons in Wellington, and in Christchurch he names Peter Timbs and Ellesmere Butchery as places where you can buy superior snarlers. I consider that both Park Avenue Quality Meats and Island Bay Butchers should also be on his list. If Sam wants to give the aura of a serious writer about snarlers, he should be able to identify the top butcher’s shops in Wellington. But hey, this a magazine that has an Auckland focus.

Sweet and Spicy Italian Sausage
Sam poses the often asked question: What is your favourite sausage? Or what is the best sausage? This is a poorly worded question. It is similar to asking an oenophile what is their favourite or best wine. There are a myriad of great sausages out there. And out of the many great sausages, some rise to the champion level. Over the last few decades the quality of sausages you can source has improved immensely. And if you go by my motto – life to too short to eat bad sausages - you can derive great pleasure from eating some beauties.
Mexican Chorizo

Sam Mannering provides a recipe for superior sausages. I liked this simple and easy recipe. Use 1.5kg of tomatoes, 500g of snarlers, add some cannelloni beans, roughly chopped garlic, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and some rosemary, oregano and thyme. Bake and serve. Easy to prepare and quick to cook.

I made two dishes with some Cameron Harrison sweet and spicy Italian sausages, and Heritage Meat Company Mexican chorizo. When they came out of the oven, Sausage Boy (who is now taller than his mother and catching up to me) said it smelled delicious. This is a wholesome autumnal treat. The tomatoes were great, we used larger and cherry tomatoes, the beans added a bit of mushiness to the texture and the balsamic added a slightly bitter tang. The whanau enjoyed the meal, they thought the aroma was better than the actual eating, however the proof is in the eating and it was agreed that I should cook this dish again.

For a review of the Mexican chorizo click here.

The sweet and spicy Italian sausages are good. They are a medium to coarse grind. They are a pork and beef sausage, there is the sweetness of the pork, accentuated by basil, coriander and oregano, there are elements of tartness that come from the red wine vinegar and then, as an aftertaste, elements of heat from chilli and smoked paprika kick in. I enjoyed this complex tasting sausage and would buy this again. Cost per kilo: $24.95

I purchased both sausages from Moore Wilsons.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Roasted eggplant with chorizo, whipped feta and walnuts

Roast eggplant with chorizo whipped feta and walnuts

I used a recipe that was in the Dominion Post’s Living magazine for roast eggplant with whipped feta and walnuts. This is easy to prepare. The writer in the article described these as the best thing he had made this year. I used by usual tactic of changing the recipe and added a slice of chorizo criollo, if you are adding chorizo this is my favourite.

I roasted the eggplant in the oven, I then mixed up some crumbly feta, crushed walnuts, lemon juice and parsley and a slice of chorizo. Easy to make and very delicious.

This was served with snapper fillets, baked with a yoghurt sauce with walnuts and breadcrumbs, and some broccoli and peas. A delectable meal.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Easter Tramping

Easter Tramping

Over Easter I decided to head for the hills. The weather forecast was not great, but there was a window of about 36 hours which looked promising so I decided to head up onto the tops. During the last couple of times I had been along the ridgeline of the Tararuas I was going at a reasonable clip, either training for an event or participating in a mountain running event. Although I was a bit stuffed during the Tararua Mountain Race in March, I found some parts of the event very peaceful as I moved my way amongst the clouds along the ridgeline. I wanted to go back to the tops and enjoy having time to engage with the environment.

Heading from Field towards Kime

I headed up to Field Hut and then onto the turn off to the track along main range, just before Kime Hut. I had thought I might go all the way to Maungahuka. It was an unusual day, I had hoped the cloud would lift but the opposite happened.  As I made my way along the main range visibility dropped to about 10 metres. There was no wind so I stopped sat and contemplated. I found a few spots where you could hear the silence, almost no wind, no insects and just peaceful, noiseless emptiness, in a swirl of claggy cloud. I could never be a yogi on top of a mountain, and if you tried this in the Tararuas you would get blown off, however I do enjoy the solitude. As the forecast was for gale to severe gales for the following day and I was going solo I retraced my path back and spent the evening in Kime Hut.
Cloud over the Main Range - It got a lot worse than this - taken from above Field Hut
This was the first time I have slept in the new hut. It is much brighter and bigger than the previous version but it was cold in the hut. One of the ironies of the new building code is that while new huts have to be double glazed and insulated, they also need to be vented because trampers use gas stoves for cooking. This means a free flow of circulating air in the hut. The internal temperature in the hut is about the same as the external temperature outside in the elements. This meant the temperature in the hut was above zero, but not by too much.

I meet a guy in the hut and I offered him one element of my standard tramping diet, sausages. I have brought my old favourites, kabonosy and chorizo criollo. We got talking and he told me that he makes his own sausages. His dad is Italian and he uses traditional family recipes and also other recipes he has gathered over the years. He was an affable fellow sausage enthusiast. You do not meet too many people who you can have a great sausage conversation with, let alone when on the Tararua mountain tops. This was an unexpected pleasure, and needless to say he appreciated the quality of both the kabonosy and the chorizo criollo.

As the forecast for the next day was severe gales later in the day, I decided to head back to the road end. It was a short enjoyable time in the hills. I liked the solitude and emptiness of being on the main range track. It was great to spend some time in the hills being alone and enjoying the silence of nature.

For other tramping and sausages posts here is an index.

It must be true love

It must be true love

My wife had to go to Auckland for a day’s work. I received a call late in the day saying she was outside Westmere Butchery and what kind of sausages would I like purchased. From our visit to Auckland in January the two sausages that stuck in my memory were the pork, blue cheese, walnut and pear; and Italian Banderia. Both varieties were available and purchased.

After a quick flight to Wellington these were consumed by an appreciative whanau. The sausages were as good as I remembered them. The blue cheese, walnut and pear is an outstanding snarler for those who enjoy the tanginess of blue cheese with the texture of roughly ground walnuts on the palate. We even had some left over to share with friends when had them round for coffee and hot cross buns at Easter.

Buying sausages for your husband during a quick trip to Auckland, it must be true love.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

"The best sausages she has ever tasted"

"The best sausages she has ever tasted"

The daughter went back to her flat and cooked some kabonosy with pearl barley and tomato.
Her flatmate said, "These are the best sausages I have ever tasted."

Kabonosy are a sausage that are loved by all, smoky, medium ground pork that taste great. I am pleased that my daughter has the potential to be a great ambassador for the consumption and enjoyment of quality sausages.